Native to the Far East, the Siberian crab in flower looks like a white cloud. Rather small, it produces no suckers and when young is erect in habit, with non-hairy shoots, developing a broad crown. It can be seen growing at Mustila both on Pähkinärinne (Hazelnut Slope) and on Etelärinne (Southern Slope) west of the giant Douglas firs (Pseudotsuga menziesii). In time, the Siberian crab can grow to about 10m, so isn’t suitable for very small gardens. The branches are thornless, often branching sidewards and finally drooping.
This species is extremely cold hardy. The white flowers, usually in clusters of four, appear in May-June, when the tree is at its best, and the brilliance of the display should be recommendation enough for increasing its use in public landscapes. The fruit is berry-like, about cherry-sized, usually red, and sheds its calyx. The small fruit, which are rather bitter, remain on the tree after leaf fall. Autumn colour is yellow, and some years can be very impressive.
The variety var. mandshurica is found in northern China, and has larger leaves and fruit than the Siberian crab.